Top 10 New Cars That Give People Buyer's Remorse

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

You may be surprised to hear that 1.5 percent of new car owners resell their cars within the first year of ownership.

At least that’s according to data from automotive research firm, which analyzed more than 24 million individual new car sales to see how many were resold within the first year. The firm found that 11 models saw at least twice the rate of resale of the average car, with the Nissan Versa coming in 11th place at 3.2 percent.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things That Affect a Car’s Resale Value

It may come as a surprise that six of the 11 models come from German luxury automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The top three cars are resold at rates quadruple the average of all models.

It’s worth noting that some of the luxury vehicles on the list are because automakers offer their dealers incentives to buy new cars to use as loaner vehicles, which are then sold as used when they are still under a year old, explained Phong Ly, CEO of “This is a marketing strategy with a two-fold purpose. It puts brand-new models in the hands of current owners when they bring their cars in for service, increasing the likelihood that they will buy another car from that brand. In addition, it essentially increases the brand’s new car sales, which help to give them the ability to claim the title of ‘top luxury brand’, something that BMW and Mercedes-Benz compete for every year.”

10. Subaru WRX

Data shows 3.3 percent of Subaru WRX owners got rid of their four-door sports car within one year of ownership. The average price of a brand new Subaru WRX was $32,634, while the average price of it used was $30,625 reflecting a 6.2-percent decrease when resold after one year of ownership.

9. Chrysler 200

The Chrysler 200 isn’t long for this world and it appears even its owners are fed up, with 3.8 percent reselling within the first year. It takes the biggest hit out of all the cars on the list, losing 29.9 percent of its value after one year ($25,132 new versus $17,625 used).

8. Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The latest-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class packs plenty of high-tech features, but that’s not convincing some owners to keep the luxury sedan. A total of 3.9 percent got rid of their E-Class within the first year of ownership and it came at a price. The E-Class on average lost 19.3 percent of its value, selling new for $64,742 while getting $52,267 on the used car market.

7. BMW 4 Series

Like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, 3.9 percent of its buyers got rid of their BMW 4 Series within one year of ownership. The value drop wasn’t as drastic as the E-Class, but owners did take a hit of 17.3 percent on average, spending $54,610 to purchase the car new and getting back $45,152 after one year.

6. BMW X3

Another vehicle that saw 3.9 percent of its owners reselling within one year is the BMW X3. It’s also likely the X3 is one of those vehicles dealerships are purchasing for loaners. The average price of a brand new BMW X3 was $50,115 with owners losing 12.7 percent of its value with an average selling price of $43,731.

5. Dodge Dart

Like the Chrysler 200, the fate of the Dodge Dart has been decided and the American automaker didn’t even bother with a 2017 model year. It also comes in second right behind the Chrysler 200 in losing 27.4 percent of its value within one year of ownership, with an average new selling price of $20,649 before getting resold for an average of $14,988.

4. Nissan Versa Note

It appears more Nissan Versa Note owners get rid of their vehicles within one year than Nissan Versa owners. Four percent of Versa Note owners got rid of their vehicles within one year, with its value dropping on average 20.2 percent from $16,606 new to $13,256 used.

3. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Another likely model purchased by dealerships for loaner cars is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It comes in third place with 6.1 percent resold as used within the first year, with its value dropping from $49,042 to $39,406 marking a 19.6 percent decrease.

2. BMW 5 Series

The third of four BMW models on the list is the 5 Series, with 7.1 percent of its owners reselling within one year. On average, the 5 Series lost 18.2 percent of its value, with buyers paying $61,317 for it new and reselling it for $50,133 used within one year.

1. BMW 3 Series

If you’ve ever visited a BMW dealership, you’ll know there’s plenty of 3 Series units on the lot to serve as loaners. So unsurprisingly, it tops the list with 8 percent being resold within one year of ownership. The average price of a new BMW 3 Series came in at $44,833 before reselling for an average of $36,743 within one year.

Discuss this story on our BMW Forum

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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3 of 26 comments
  • CarScott CarScott on Oct 26, 2017

    Agreeing with everyone else about the bogus conclusions of this article. If we apply these same silly conclusions to cell phones we'd conclude that a whopping 23% of iPhone users are unhappy with their devices because they upgraded from one year to the next. False - they simply chose the newer iteration. The bigger story is the one year decline in value. Chrysler at 29% - Wow. I am gratified that my favorite Subaru only declined in value 6%.

  • RunsWithScissors RunsWithScissors on Oct 31, 2017

    No surprise with first year turnover of German cars. It's their strategy to move the car and get it back as soon as possible. The one year rate of vehicle returns have nothing to do with the car's performance or reliability and everything to do with sales strategy. BMW and MB's sales strategy is to sell every car 3 times. They want you to obtain the vehicle on a low cost of money short term lease, they want it back as soon as possible so they can resell it as a CPO where the real money is to be made, and finally when you're done with it, and if it's off warranty and beyond CPO eligibility, they'll sell it on their lot as a used car if it's a special interest vehicle, or they'll sell it at the auction. One car, 3 sales, tidy profit.

    • Jumbybird Jumbybird on Jan 18, 2018

      They state it at the top of the article that their numbers are misleading, but publish it anyway. Clickbait.